In what WPP claims is “a first for the industry”, the ad giant has committed to reaching net zero in the emissions generated by the placement of advertising in the media for its clients.
On Earth Day yesterday, WPP announced a new commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions in its operations by 2025 and across its entire supply chain by 2030.
To deliver net zero emissions from WPP’s operations, electricity will be 100 per cent renewably sourced by 2025.
Within WPP’s supply chain, which accounts for most of the company’s emissions, the two largest sources are the production of advertising content and the placement of that content in media channels from television and press to radio and online, WPP said in a statement.
WPP claims it is the first in its industry to include media in its net zero commitment.
WPP chief executive Mark Read said: “WPP is the world’s largest buyer of advertising space, managing more than [US]$60 billion in media spend on behalf of our clients, and the world’s largest producer of advertising content.
“So we have the opportunity to make a real difference.”
The world’s largest ad company, WPP said it had an independently assessed annual carbon footprint of 5.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
WPP said that it would reach net zero carbon emissions by 2025 by incorporating many of the virtual production solutions it has developed during the pandemic.
“By including emissions from the placement of advertising in our net zero commitment—a first for our industry—we aim to raise the bar for the whole sector,” Read said.
Read added that two-thirds of WPP’s “top clients” have committed to set their own science-based reduction targets. He said WPP can “play an important role in helping them to meet those targets in their operations and across their supply chains”.
“We look forward to working with all our partners—many of whom have already made great strides in this area—to develop standards that will benefit the industry, our clients and our wider communities,” he said.
The net zero commitment follows other sustainability initiatives from WPP.
WPP said in 2020 it purchased 65 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources, including 100 per cent of electricity bought in the United States and, for the first time, in the UK, Canada and most European markets.
In 2019, WPP was the first among its peers to commit to phasing out single-use plastics within its campuses.
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